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How to charge an electric van

Where to charge your electric van, how much it'll cost, how often you need to do it and more. All in one place.

Do I need to charge my van?
Whether or not you need to charge your van depends on the van’s fuel type.
  • Electric van - you will have to charge this van
  • Mild hybrid or a hybrid electric vehicle - you don’t need to charge your van
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) - will need charging
Where to charge an electric van
To charge a van you will need access to power from the grid, you can access power from the grid by attaching your van to a charge point with a cable.
With the right infrastructure installed, you could charge your van in the following locations:
  • On the public network
  • At work
  • At a service station
  • At home via a charging point
There are a few different types of charge points, which charge electric vans at different speeds.
These have different sockets, so different cables and connectors are needed to connect to the charge points.
Electric charge points
In the UK, there are three types of charge point: slow, fast and rapid. The "speed" refers to how much electricity is transferred to the battery over a given period (the power output). Power is measured in kilowatts (kW).
Different companies have contributed to the electric charging ecosystem over time, which means there are different charging points and connecting sockets available – a bit like how there are different phone chargers, and they, unfortunately, aren’t all cross-compatible.
How long does it take to charge an electric van?
This depends on the size of the van's battery, the speed of the charge point, and the amount of charge you need. Charging a van can take anything between 30 minutes and 12 hours.
  • 3.7kW chargers charge at approximately 15 miles of range in an hour, a 2019 Mercedes Benz eVito has a range of 93 hours, so this would take just over 6 hours to charge.
  • 7kW fast chargers, charge at around 30 miles of range in an hour, the same Mercedes Benz eVito would take just over 3 hours to charge.
  • Rapid chargers can get you an 80% charge in 20 minutes – but this will depend on the van and the charging point.
How often do electric vans need charging?
This will depend on your van’s battery and range. An electric van’s range is how far it can travel on a charge.
It is worth checking this before you buy a van. On Auto Trader Van adverts you can find information on:
  • Battery range - the max miles on a full charge
  • Full charge - the duration of full charge
  • Quick charge - the time for a quick charge when you are on the go
We get this information directly from the manufacturer of the van. Charge times may vary by charging points.
How much does it cost to charge an electric van?
This depends on where you’re charging your van.
You may be able to get a special tariff for charging your van from your electricity provider, so shop around. If you’re climate-conscious, you could consider using sustainable energy providers like Octopus or Bulb.
Cost of charging at work
This will depend on where you work. Some employers offer free access to charging points they’ve installed, others charge you a tariff to encourage fair usage. It would be best to raise this with your employer. If you are using the van for work purposes, your employer should cover the costs of charging as this is a business expense.
If you want to install a charge point at your place of work, you may be able to access vouchers, which provide support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of charging points, read more about this here.
Cost of charging in public
Some public charging points or service stations are free, and prices can vary for the paid ones.
Rapid charging points are often the most expensive of the lot, these usually cost around £6.50 for a 30 minute / 100-mile charge. If you would like to install a charging point at home, you could get grant funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points, read more about this on GOV.UK here.
Cost of charging at home
The best way to calculate how much it will cost to charge your van at home would be to use the Zap Map home charging calculator here.
We hope this helps you figure out your electric van charging options.
Looking for an electric van?
Start your search for an electric van here today.

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